|halloween|

happy halloween! even though halloween is not one of my favorite holidays, Andrew and I have had a good time dressing up the past few years! since we aren’t planning to dress up together this year I thought I’d make a post of our favorite couples costumes.

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{halloween 2013 ‘curious george and the man in the yellow hat’}

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{halloween 2014 ‘uncle sam and the statue of liberty’}

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{halloween 2015 ‘squints and wendy peffercorn from the sandlot’}

tonight we are volunteering at a carnival our church is hosting and I am so excited to see all of the little ones in their costumes. hope you all have a safe and fun halloween!

{now excuse me while I go eat my weight in reeces cups}

XO Lo

{october} wish list

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hello lovelies! since we are starting to get closer to the holidays I thought I would start putting out monthly ‘wish lists.’ this is just a random assortment of things that have caught my eye recently. some things I will wait patiently for and put them on my christmas list and others are just too good to wait for.

i am in need of a new winter coat! i love the style of this blue one and it is under $60! {it comes in 5 different colors}

i got my first laptop as a christmas gift during my senior year of high school almost SIX YEARS ago. it lived a good life but it is now officially a goner. i’ve had my eye on this samsung chromebook for a while now and am really excited to have a working computer again!

you can never go wrong with a black pair of jeans and these are perfectly destructed! old navy’s mid rise rockstar jeans fit me like a glove. i can’t find any jeans that i like better than these!

i’ve heard amazing things about this setting powder! it is a great price and I’m dying to give it a try! {i will not be waiting until christmas to purchase this!}

i had mentioned these write the word journals from the lara casey shop in a post a while back. i bought volume 1 as a graduation gift for my cousin but have yet to buy one for myself.

i am loving anything marble right now and these earrings from elisabeth ashlie are so cute! if you haven’t checked out this shop do it NOW.

have a wonderful week!

XO Lo

 

pumpkin patch

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this past weekend we went to the pumpkin patch in town with some friends. these friends have been such a blessing to us. all the guys are in physical therapy school together and it has been so great, for me, to get to know their wives {and wife to be}. it was likely the last 70 something day we are going to get here in north dakota so we took complete advantage of it! this was our 2nd annual trip to papa’s pumpkin patch and I know we will continue the tradition. do you have any fall traditions?

XO Lo

how i paid my loans off way before they were due

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on friday october 7th 2016 I became DEBT FREE! it feels so good to have my student loans completely paid off and way before they were due. there is such freedom that comes with being debt free so I wanted to share how I was able to do it. it wasn’t easy and it took a lot of sacrifice but if I can do it you can too!

the first thing you need to do is:

set up a budget

the first step in managing your money is knowing where your money is going. i started my first budget during my internship with Cru. {a ministry on my college campus} because i was being supported financially by ministry partners, i wanted to be sure i was being a good steward of my money. it was also the first time i had an “adult” job so I had a full time salary to navigate. your budget can be as simple or complex as you choose. the point is to be aware how much money is coming in as well as where you are spending it. this will help you not spend more than you make and be able to SAVE! there are some cool apps you can download that have been helpful to friends of ours however, I prefer to use a good ol’notebook and pen. {if you have any questions about what my budget looks like feel free to ask. I love talking about it!}

meal plan

meal planning saved us a ton on our grocery bill. this helped us to buy what we needed for the week and saved us from wasting expired food. i have heard of so many families that have pantries busting at the seams and deep freezers that are full and yet they still are buying! i try to be creative and use any leftover ingredients for the next weeks meals. this also helped us not be tempted to go out to eat because we had meals planned out for each day. {don’t get me wrong, we did go out to eat on occasion. but it was just less often than we normally did} it takes some effort but it is worth it!

pay more than the minimum

the minimum payment puts you on a timeline to pay off your loans in 10 years. 10 YEARS. that is a very long time, in my opinion, to be “a slave to your lender.” {proverbes 22:7} this concept varies slightly depending on your situation.

|a| when i started my budget i didn’t have very much in my savings account. i felt like i needed to build up my savings a little bit to have a cushion. i decided to budget a percentage of my income to go into my savings account and at the end of the month whatever i had leftover after my budget I used to make a loan payment. these weren’t huge payments, but i was making progress

|b| after i felt i had a good cushion in my bank account, {the amount is totally up to you. a lot of people suggest saving 3 months of expenses} i stopped budgeting for savings and used everything left after my budget to make a loan payment.

set {realistic} goals for yourself

when we first got married we had no idea what our budget was going to look like. we decided to set the goal of paying off my loans by the time Andrew finished grad school. {3 years} at that time, it seemed like a lofty goal! however, we crushed it and finished paying my loans earlier! as time went on and we saw the progress we were making we tweaked our goals. we decided we could set the goal of paying off my federal loans by the end of 2015. we almost made that goal but ended up finishing those in february 2016. then we set the goal to finish paying off my private loan by the end of 2016 and finished in october!

I hope these tips can help you experience financial freedom and become debt free. if you have any questions about Andrew and my journey don’t hesitate to ask!

XO Lo

*now of course Andrew is still a student so this is not the end of our debt journey. but having my loans paid in full is a huge accomplishment that needs to be celebrated! this also puts us in an awesome place to be able to tackle his loans when he is done with school.*

 

pumpkin muffins

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this is one of my favorite fall recipes. I grew up going to my aunt verna’s house and there were certain snacks I was guaranteed to have; homemade orange julius and popcorn at night and these amazing pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in the morning. i assure you these muffins are the best so don’t even bother with any other recipe.

{recipe makes approx 3 dozen muffins}

4 eggs
1 can {15 oz} libbys pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup oil {I like to substitute half of the oil with applesauce}
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 ts baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups chocolate chips

bake muffins at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes

hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has. let me know if you try it out!

XO Lo

 

camo jacket + white after labor day

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 {my monogram necklace is from etsy from the shop Cora’s Den}

happy monday! camo jackets are so popular this fall and I was quick to jump on board with this one from TJ Maxx. {original one sold out online but this one is similar!} i wear my olive green cargo jacket so much and I knew that this one would get a ton of use as well. i am also here to tell you that wearing white pants after labor day is TOTALLY A THING. don’t let anyone tell you different. i may not wear them as much once the snow flies but for now i am loving to wear them with my fall outfits.

hope y’all had a wonderful weekend! the weather here was absolutely gorgeous. October is my favorite month and i can’t wait to enjoy more beautiful fall days.

XO Lo